Recommended Tracks: bloody valentine, all I know, play this when i’m gone
Artists You May Like: blackbear, blink-182, Goody Grace
People are hard to please. You try to give them one thing, but they want another. You try to be real with them, but they do not listen. You try to give them pop punk, but they want rap. It seems as if the only way these people will be happy is if you tell them how much you are unhappy, or how many times you have messed up. If that is all it takes, then Machine Gun Kelly is ready to prosper with his new album, Tickets To My Downfall.
After welcoming everyone to the album with “title track,” Machine Gun Kelly paints harmless scenes of going out, drinking, and hooking up – you know, things you might as well enjoy while you can. It all sounds innocent and fun, until we detect hints of regret and pity. On “drunk face,” for instance, MGK mentions how he “is compensating for heartbreak,” and on “bloody valentine,” he indicates, “I’m overstimulated and I’m sad.” We appreciate the honesty, but we also do not want him to spiral.
Things actually do get a little heavier, though, once we get to the middle of the album. We hear a couple of amazing collabs, and uncover even more open feelings. On the aggressive, “forget me too,” MGK and Halsey portray a fictional couple who have reached a breaking point. The “don’t get mad, get even” attitude comes through very strongly on this duet, and we root for the couple to work things out or move on. Almost complimenting “forget me too” is “all I know,” where MGK and Trippie Redd vent about their frustrations with the world around them. We are all just trying to figure things out, which makes this track instantly relatable. Of course, if you really want to feel a release but only have a minute to do so, you can pop on “WWIII,” and rage to your heart’s content.
After the comic relief of “kevin and barracuda,” which consists of an intergalactic-themed conversation between MGK and his buddy, Pete Davidson, we slide into the last half of the album. We encounter more of the vibes we heard at the beginning of the album, featuring tricky situations, conflicting feelings, and catchy melodies. It all leads up to the poignant closing track, “play this when i’m gone.” Its stripped-back sound makes it a clear standout on the album, but I am more captivated by its lyrics. Written for his daughter, the track serves as a moment in time, with MGK wearing his heart on his sleeve. He asks that she play this song when she feels alone, and to know that he will always miss her when they are apart.
All in all, Tickets To My Downfall captures that raw energy and spirit from the whole early 2000s pop punk scene – the studded belts, the spiked hair, the guyliner… If you were into music from that time, and even if you are into the alt rock music of today, you will find at least one track on the album that speaks to you. But, if you were more into MGK’s music from his previous albums, you can still appreciate the new stories and thoughts that he shares. It takes a lot for an artist to reveal so much of their personal world with an audience, but to do so with a different sound is very noble. Start trading in your ticket to his downfall for a ticket to his ascension now.
You can listen to Tickets To My Downfall on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
Additionally, you can purchase tickets to Machine Gun Kelly’s upcoming livestream performances of the album here.